'I'm speechless': Kiwi claims gold at MMA World Champs

Rising Kiwi mixed martial artist Michelle Montague can now add world champion to her resume.

Montague took out the women's lightweight division at the amateur MMA World Championships in Bahrain at the weekend, claiming one of three medals for the New Zealand team.

The 25-year-old beat fellow Kiwi Mel Webster in the final, forcing Webster to submit to an arm bar in the first round.

"This moment. This vision. This process. I am speechless," Montague said of the win in a post on Instagram.

For the Matamata product, it's the latest accolade in her relatively fresh MMA career. A former rugby player, Montague began training in MMA four years ago and has excelled in the sport – particularly in the grappling side of it.

Montague, who fights out of Core MMA in Hamilton alongside UFC star Luke Jumeau, won both her semifinal and final by submission in the opening round of both bouts. She needed just 40 seconds before locking in a guillotine choke in her semifinal against Sweden's Sandra Meneses. Her ability to take the fight to the ground was also on display early in the tournament, with her opening bout being decided by third round TKO as she got her opponent to the mat and laid on the strikes after the two traded strikes on the feet for the opening two rounds.

Kiwi flyweight Hannah Dawson joined Montague and Webster in reaching the podium at the event, claiming the silver medal in her division after falling in the final to a guillotine choke against Bianca Antman of Sweden.

With three medals, New Zealand finished fourth on the table behind Russia (9), Bahrain (6) and Kazakhstan (5).

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